Edifier C2XB 2.1 multimedia speaker review; great looks, average sound
+ Design is pretty unique
+ Dedicated amplifier unit looks cool!
+ USB and SD card playback is convenient
+ Tunable treble and bass for a personalized sound
+ Subwoofer pumps out loads of bass
+ Bluetooth support is great for use with smartphones
- Sound quality is average with weak reproduction of mids and highs
- Placement of USB and SD card slot limits usability
- Limited support for audio file formats
- Rather pricey for what it offers
If you find Edifier’s bookshelves a bit too boring in terms of their appearance, you might want to take a look at the Edifier C2XB 2.1 multimedia speaker system. It features a touch of flair with its exposed tweeter, dedicated standalone amplifier and subtle curves here and there to press home the fact that this isn’t your boring old sound-making boxes. The dedicated subwoofer should also mean that this system has additional oomph in the low-range for ground-shaking explosions. Now before we get ahead of ourselves and judge the Edifier C2XB based on its looks, let’s give it a whirl to see how good does it actually sound.
The Edifier C2XB comes with Edifier’s classic color scheme, white and maroon. This is an older model, which is why we aren’t seeing the plain cardboard boxes yet. It’s nice, glossy and the large product image helps you decide whether you like the design. We see that it offers quite a lot of input options, with RCA, AUX, Bluetooth as well as the capability to read USB drives and SD cards.
The back features little highlights showcasing the unique design characteristics of the Edifier C2XB. The features and specifications are also listed here. The Edifier C2XB’s specifications states a frequency response of 50 Hz to 20 000 Hz, not really that impressive for a system with a dedicated subwoofer. Nonetheless, we will give it a listen before passing judgement.
A list of package contents is printed on the top flaps of the packaging. You can see here that this package is really quite substantial, but not really as huge as the Edifier M3600D’s.
The wiring instructions are on the inner flap of the box, but with the many wires, you can easily get confused. Not like you need this anyway as the wires are color-coded and the ports labelled for your convenience.
And here are the full contents of the Edifier C2XB’s package. You don’t get much in the way of accessorie, but Edifier decided it was a good idea to throw in a 3.5mm to RCA cable and 3.5mm to 3.5mm AUX cable. Like, why? Why not a RCA-RCA cable and an AUX cable instead? The usual documentation is available and you also get a remote control with tonnes of buttons.
The standalone amp lets the Edifier C2XB standout from its brethren, with a pretty dynamic look. It is well vented, presumably to keep the Class D amps inside cool. It also sports a lot of controls around the volume dial, which we will take a look at later.
You can find a 3.5mm output as well as an input on the side. The positioning is rather curious considering the Edifier C2XB features an AUX input on the back panel too. Perhaps Edifier C2XB thinks that this port will be convenient for users who want to quickly plug in a portable audio player or smartphone without fumbling around the back. That’s the only logical explanation I have for this port, but with Bluetooth available, no one is going to tangle with cables to connect their smartphone.
The satellites has a non-removable mesh hiding a 3″ mid-range driver under it. The 3/4″ tweeter sits prominently above, with a silver cone behind it and a glossy plastic frame on the front. The body of the satellites are made of wood, which promises better sound by offering less resonance as compared to plastic enclosures.
While the back doesn’t impress with its squarish cut, there is a little cutout for you to hang the satellites on the walls if you so wish. The cable sneaks out the lower part of the back.
This here is the subwoofer enclosure. Like the satellites, the cabinet is also made of wood. The mesh protecting the 6.5″ bass driver behind it is also non-removable. The silver plastic trim adds a touch of class to what would otherwise be a black cube.
The bass port is over on the right of the subwoofer cabinet, so be sure to make space on the left of the subwoofer when setting up the Edifier C2XB. Aside from offering more punch in the lower frequencies, the bass port also makes for an easy grip to lift the subwoofer. It isn’t heavy by any means, but it is definitely quite hard to hold if you do not make use of the bass port.
|Power output:||RMS 12W x 2 + 40W (64W total)|
|Signal to noise ratio:||≥ 85 dbA|
|Frequency response:||50 Hz – 20 KHz (+/- 1dB)|
|Input Sensitivity:||PC: 700 mV ± 50 mV
AUX: 500 mV ± 50 mV
Bluetooth: 400 ± 50 mFFS
|Input type:||RCA stereo input (PC), 3.5mm (AUX), Bluetooth 4.0, USB and SD card reader|
|Dimensions:||130 × 90 × 180mm (satellite) + 250 × 78 × 255mm (amplifier) + 288 × 232 × 242mm (subwoofer)|
The back of the amplifier module is where you will find the ins and outs of the Edifier C2XB. The SD card reader and USB port are also found on the back, which really isn’t the most convenient placement. Worth noting is that unlike the USB input of the Edifier S880DB, this USB port can only read your music files off your USB drive.
Wiring the speakers is pretty simple, aside from the fact that the clips actually hide the labeling for the the ports. Once you discover the labeling (or refer to the box, like I did), setting up the speaker is as easy as sliding the tips in, and locking the clips. Of course, the wire with the red sleeve goes into the side with the red clip.
The huge glossy portion of the amplifier unit hides a display, allowing you to see your volume as well as the input you are currently using. The red text is kinda retro for me, looking like the clocks I used to have in my room.
The controls on the Edifier C2XB are pretty comprehensive, however I believe Edifier actually threw in an extra button just for the sake of symmetry. Not complaining though. Take a guess which is the button that’s redundant. I won’t say which button, but it’s sole function is to give you another way to access the treble and bass controls. Speaking of which, you can adjust the treble within a range of -8 to +8, while bass has a wider range, from -12 to +8.
The controls on the amplifier unit is so easy to use and accessible to me that I absolutely ignored the remote control. I must say the remote control here is really capable of controlling everything unlike those Edifier bundles with their bookshelves. The ability to control bass and treble from afar might come handy to some, but for me, I rather push the buttons on the amplifier unit itself.
So by now, you would have known that these speakers are pretty good in terms of usability. How does it perform though? Fed an analog signal from my Zorloo ZuperDAC, I would say that the subwoofer definitely amps up the bass quantity, but not necessarily the quality. At its default setting, it can sound a bit boomy, which does sound great for movies and games but not so much for music. Tuning it to -4 lets the Edifier C2XB sound a lot better with the boominess toned down with a more solid bass presence. Mid-range presence is pretty weak, with vocals lacking in detail and power. Turning the treble up to +5 gives the upper mids a little more presence for more perceived clarity. The higher frequencies are quite poorly represented, with a noticeable lack of details in the upper registers. Due to the satellites not really being all that powerful, the soundstage imaging is poorer than most of Edifier’s other speakers
Sound quality over Bluetooth is decent, but there is no AptX to speak of. Range is as expected, around 10m with a glass door in between. There really isn’t a huge drop in sound quality when using Bluetooth, which is definitely something you want to take advantage of. Playback from SD cards and USB sticks are surprisingly limited, with it only able to read the .mp3 and .wma files from my thumb drive, and not the .flac and .m4a files. Sound quality is okay, but the sound is warmer than when fed sound from the USB DAC.
Is the Edifier C2XB something you want to get? If you frequently prepare playlists on your thumb drives for enjoyment in your car, then yes, the Edifier C2XB is really a quick and easy way to play music off your USB stick. However if you are going to use it solely for your gaming system, then the THX-certified Edifier M3600D may be a better choice. If you want a great pair of speakers for general use, the Edifier R1700BT and Edifier R1280DB both offer great value for money. If you really want an affordable 2.1 multimedia system, the Edifier XM6BT is cheaper while offering just as many inputs. The Edifier C2XB does have a cool looking amplifier unit that provides access to all its features, but if you want excellent sound quality, the Edifier C2XB doesn’t really deliver. With Edifier charging RM429 for the Edifier C2XB, this doesn’t make the cut for our list of recommended speakers.